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Easy Recipes From Smeag: Bayou Beans & Rice

Posted by Princess Grr , Mar 28 2010 · 133 views

Easy Recipes from Smeag
I enjoy cooking, and it's a pretty useful skill to have when you're off on your own, living by yourself on a meager budget. The meal plan I'm on here at college covers lunch and dinner during the week (I just make breakfast in my room - yogurt, instant oatmeal, cereal, bagels, et cetera), but on the weekends I have to feed myself. This is fine, though; I live in a house with a bunch of friends rather than a dorm, and we have our own kitchen here. So I try to make some nice meals on a shoestring budget.

One of the things I loved so much about Byron's blog, back when he had time to regularly update it, was his recurring posting of recipes and tales of his cooking adventures. Byron's a great guy and this was a lovely window into his daily life - not to mention plenty of good advice to cull, for a fellow home-cooker. So, in the spirit of my busy buddy, I'm going to start occasionally posting recipes I undertake here at Elliot House. It's something I love to do, and something I'm happy to share - cooking is useful knowledge!

Given the minuscule nature of my income, many of these will be really simple recipes with inexpensive ingredients. If you're a poor college student or struggling, poorer graduate, I feel your pain. I push my microwave to its creative limits (in fact, today's recipe uses only that appliance) and make the most of nonperishable foods. I've yet to make an un-salvageable meal however - and when I cook for others, comments have thus far been unanimously positive. You can do a lot with store-brand canned food and a microwave!

And on that note, let's jump into what I cooked for dinner tonight: 'Bayou Beans & Rice.'

  • 1 14-oz can of beans (kidney, pinto, whatever you like best - I used seasoned pinto beans)
  • 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes (preferably with chilies!)
  • 1 14-oz can of chicken broth
  • 1 5-oz can of ham (chunk)
  • 2 cups of instant rice (I use brown rice)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil (I use canola)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chopped onion (or about 1/8 cup of dried chopped onion)
  • Garlic powder to taste (I use a lot)
  • Seasonings and spices to taste - this is a Louisiana-inspired dish so go for Cajun and spicy! I used jalapeņo, habaņero, and Tabasco sauces; chili powder; and paprika. 3/4 tsp of Cajun seasoning may do the trick for the spice-impaired.
These are all cheap ingredients (excluding the Tabasco) - you won't pay more than a couple bucks for anything on this list. Additionally, nothing on this list except the pepper is perishable - long shelf lives ahoy!

Mix the two cups of instant rice and fourteen ounces of broth together in a large, microwave safe dish (two quarts is sufficient). Cover it (tightly) with plastic wrap and microwave for ten minutes, or until the rice is cooked. While it is microwaving, chop the pepper finely. Once the rice is cooked (it will have soaked up the broth and will smell amazing) put it into another contained - pot, dish, whatever - and cover it with foil to keep it warm.

Following this, take the dish you used to cook the rice and wipe it out, and then dump the pepper, chopped onion, and garlic powder into it. Pour the two tablespoons of oil over this stuff and stir until it's all nice and greasy. Microwave it for four minutes.

Now add the beans, tomatoes, ham, and seasonings to the dish and stir well. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave it for six minutes, then remove the wrap and microwave it for another six. After this the liquid in the dish should be thickened. Pour the contents of the dish into the pot with the rice, stir well, and voila! You're done! This can serve 4-6 people, depending on how hungry you are.


For a vegetarian version of this recipe, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and forgo the ham.

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Rice cooked in broth = some of the best rice ever. In the past, I have added turkey broth to my ramen noodles to make them amazing.

Is there a reason you cooked the rice in the microwave, though, instead of on stovetop?
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Princess Grr
Mar 28 2010 06:56 PM
QUOTE(Senjo @ Mar 28 2010, 06:36 PM)
Rice cooked in broth = some of the best rice ever. In the past, I have added turkey broth to my ramen noodles to make them amazing.

Is there a reason you cooked the rice in the microwave, though, instead of on stovetop?

I was keeping this recipe all-microwave for simplicity (I want to stress 'fast, cheap, and easy but still delicious' with these recipes, haha). Under normal circumstances I'd probably use range, though. Another benefit of the all-microwave arrangement though is that I don't have to leave my room, 'cause I have a microwave in here :]
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Justin Bieber
Mar 28 2010 08:59 PM

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For a vegetarian version of this recipe, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and forgo the ham.

This is why I love you. <3

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Dude, I'm totally gonna try making this one day. Thanks man!
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Thanks ever so for sharing your culinary wisdom with us. Any chance you could give these their own category?
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You enjoy cooking, I enjoy you.

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I'll have to prepare a non-spicy bowl for Karla and a super-spicy one for me. Thanks, pal!
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I second Makaru on this one, just replace "girlfriend" with "rest of family".
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Faces To The Names

In relative order of meeting and/or encountering them. There are definitely some missing but I'm bad with usernames. PM me if you've met me at a BrickFair or something but aren't on this list.

1989: ActionMasterBumblebee
1995: Cronua
2002: Antonapoulos
2006: Bionicle Rex, Kopaka's Ice Engineering, Kaiapu, Spoony Bard, Black Six, InnerRayg, ChocolateFrogs
2008: Swiftone, LehvakLah, Makaru, Deevee, Magpi, Kohaku, Roa McToa, speaknspell, Nikira, Twingding, krazyrapdude
2009: Janus, Friar Tuck, Senjo, Hahli Husky, Emzee, Alsru: Toa of Honor, Spink, Disky
2010: Nukaya, ToM Dracone, Arpy, Sisen, xccj, Nuju Metru, Primus, Vezok's Friend, Lloyd: White Wolf, Stubbed Toa, Waffles, dablackcat
2011: Brave Dragon, Brickeens, Toa Lhikan Hordika, and many more at BrickFair '11 who I do not remember!
2012: Tufi Piyufi, Takuma Nuva, Avohkah Tamer, and many more at BrickFair '12 who I do not remember!
2013: !!JOHN CENA!!, Ryuujin, Der Xaeger, probably more at BrickFair '13 that I don't remember

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